ForumTouchy Subjects ► Israel vs Palestine
What was all that about then?

I do broadly know what it was about, but I don't get what Hamas thought it was doing. Hamas fires one of its relatively small rockets which kills a couple of Israelis, then Israel piles in with its full-blown military arsenal paid for by the US and kills a couple of hundred Palestinians. And Israel claims it's self-defense. Well it is, I guess, but it's disproportionate. But then, does self-defense need to be proportionate, because surely the point is to make them stop, not just mirror their attacks and let them call the shots.

If you're Hamas, what is the point in firing these little rockets at Israel once in a while, when you know you're hopelessly out-gunned. What did you think was going to happen.
  
To give international attention to the shit Israel was doing to prompt the tiny rocket
  
Over 4000 rockets were fired in less than 14 days. I'm not sure I'd call that 'a tiny rocket'.

Proportionality isn't about how many people died. It's moreso related to the value of a given target weighed against the number of civilian deaths that occurred in attacking it. I'd say that in terms of actually weighing the human cost on its own, without looking at the military advantage gained, Israel's operations were actually surprisingly well executed and surgical. That's the horror of war. Even well executed and surgical operations lead to untold amounts of suffering, and turn what was once a livable area into a disaster area. Does it matter that you didn't kill hundreds of thousands of people if you displace them, or destroy their property? This is why you can't look at the human lives lost. You've gotta also look at what was gained - and in this case, it's pretty much nothing. A few people are gone, but the organization remains, and the international support that gave them all those rockets stands emboldened by the exchange. The military advantage is pretty much negative. It's 200 lives lost *for no reduction in enemy capacity to engage in the same kind of strikes*. That's why it's so terrible. If enough of those 4000 rockets had hit to 'even up the numbers', that lack of proportionality wouldn't have changed.

The real problem is that Israel would be content to continue this pattern of wiping out Gaza every few decades, while claiming self defense. They're perpetuating war and human suffering for no good reason. Yes, Hamas is a terror organization and can't exactly be reasoned with. Gaza is not Hamas. Palestine is not Hamas. If Israel lifted up Palestine, and stopped the needless aggression, escalation, and human rights abuses, and they helped fund a true rebuilding of Gaza, Palestine would kick Hamas out for them, and it would be over. It might take 100 years to get there, but these kind of military operations are never the answer to protracted differences.

However, it's important to keep in mind that people under Iron Dome are still living under constant fear, with sirens going off, locked in shelters, for as long as rockets are shot at them. The enemy does it to terrorize their foe, the killing is just icing on the cake. The goal isn't to inflict damage, but suffering, duress, and fear. They are directly attacking the will of their adversary to fight.

Politicians exploit that fear to hold onto the reigns of power. Bibi was on the decline, but after this, I'm not so sure that he's going to be. The hawks will be emboldened. He'll probably stay in power for longer. Meanwhile, Hamas gets to gloss over the elections they just worked to prevent. It's a loss for democracy, and a win for fascism.
  
4000 was during the whole thing, I was taking about the initial rocket attack that started it.
  
Can we really say that the entire campaign was in response to only the first salvo? Wasn't there a sort of tit for tat escalation on both sides, where Israeli strikes prompted larger rocket barrages which prompted larger Israeli attacks? If you are only talking about the first strike, why are you using numbers for the entire engagement?
  
AFAIK, Hamas fired the first rocket (in this particular clash), which I think killed one or two Israelis. Then the Israeli army moves in and starts flattening buildings, killing a few dozen. Then some more glorified fireworks come out of Hamas killing one or two more, so Israel flattens some more buildings killing a few dozen more. The total death toll at the end of the conflict is something like 13 Israelis and 275 Palestinians.

I understand the territorial conflict in broad terms since 1948, but I don't understand the specifics of what started this latest flare-up.
  
It was started by unlawful evictions of Palestinians by Israel. Attempts to quell unrest at the Al-Aqsa mosque by Israeli security elements during the ensuing protests enflamed the tension to the point of violence. Mob violence followed, on both sides, in multiple areas. Acre was one of the boiling points for that kind of stuff. The rockets were fired as a natural extension of a conflict that was already bubbling over to the point of social violence. However, those are just things I read in articles. The reality of what started what isn't going to really be determined until much later, when we reach a better consensus based on a lot of different perspectives. The U.N. hasn't even begun to investigate, even as member states are calling for it - so I'd say we can't definitively say what started it, because there's not really any real authority that's made a statement on it. Just the opinions of journalists, and the statements of despots.
  
A major contributor was probably the postponement of the 2021 Palestinian legislative election by Abbas.
  
Why does the US give Israel $4bn a year, does it get value for money?
  
An ally in the Middle East.
  
Also because the conservatives trust the Holy Land in the hands of Jews more than they do in the hands of Muslims. Or so I've heard.
  
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